Opposites Attract: Wearing it Backwards

This is just an observation on wearing clothes in ways other than originally intended. For example: wearing clothes inside out, backwards, upside down, on the wrong body part, etc…

Last week the early 90’s rap duo, Kris Kross, came to mind, I was thinking about how they used to wear their baseball jerseys and pants backwards.  Maybe it was a gimmick, maybe their manager, Jermaine Dupri packaged their look, just as Mclaren and Westwood created the Sex Pistols‘s look, whatever it was…I liked what they were doing.  It was so different, they didn’t alter the clothing, they just turned it around.  That simple change of location from front to back made an impact on me back then and still influences me today.  The possibilities of design had just opened up a little more.  Design can be re-interpreted by the individual who instinctively understands that the intention of the design is just someone’s opinion of how something should work – which is really just someone else’s expectation.  So how can designers respond to this?  One way, is to allow flexibility in design making it convertible or multifunctional…

Ultimately, the wearer has true ownership of their own clothes on their own body, not governed by rules of fashion, trends, or instructions from the general population on how to wear it.  The real challenge though, is practicing this theory.  Individuality and daring seem to go hand in hand in demonstrating a unique personal style, how the wearer makes the garment work for them is best combined with the bravado to pull it off when faced against convention.

 It also says another thing, (to paraphrase Newton’s 3rd law of motion) – For every rule that exists in fashion, there is an equal and opposite reaction to that rule.   Let’s see examples of that….

at about 37 seconds in, they explain that ” everything is to the back … because inside out is wiggedy, wiggedy, wiggedy wack!”

(below) This photo entitled simply “Curious Photo” (from the George Eastman House collection)


(below) 2010 – my own design of a convertible tunic that can be worn front or back, right side up or upside down…

multifunction t-shirt by Complex Geometries

convertible clothing by Misha Market

…and last but not least, one of my favorite fashion rebels, Little Edie Beale from the Maysles Brothers documentary Grey Gardens (1975)

2008 Galliano collection inspired by Little Edie Beale of Grey Gardens
the real Little Edie Beale

Fashion tips from Little Edie in the best costume for the day, when in doubt you can always wear the skirt as a cape…











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